From popular eateries, to boutique accommodation, entrepreneur Nigel Taylor has his finger on the pulse of Island tourism.

Whilst Rock Food Concepts may not be an instantly recognizable name, it is likely that if you live on or have visited the Isle of Man within the last 5 years, you will be familiar with at least one of their popular eateries. Well known for their warm hospitality and stylish interiors, Rock Food Concepts own and manage three food and beverage outlets in the capital town of Douglas.

In 2010, 14North opened on the North Quay – an area which has since become a hub for food and drink experiences. The restaurant was small, unassuming and trendy; showcasing local produce and excellent service. It has become a firm favorite with both locals and holidaymakers ever since. In 2012, the group opened Bath & Bottle, a cocktail den on Victoria Street and this was followed in 2015 by Little Fish Café, a seaside-inspired café which has established itself quickly as a hotspot for fresh seafood, early morning coffee and incredibly popular weekend brunches.

The latest offering from the group sees a break from food-based hospitality and signals a new direction for the company. The Sail Lofts comprises a small number of guest rooms located above 14North, enabling their customers to extend their experience with Rock Food Concepts and enjoy an overnight stay with quayside views.  We caught up with Nigel, managing director, to discuss how Rock Food Concepts have diversified their portfolio and the challenges he encountered when branching out into accommodation.

After focusing on food businesses for so long, what led you to explore the accommodation market?

We felt for a long time that the island lacked small, boutique style accommodation, particularly in a central location. We had some space above the recently refurbished 14North and felt that adding rooms would really add to the customer experience whilst offering something a little different - We hope that The Sail Lofts will make a small contribution to the island's hospitality scene.

How will your new rooms link to your existing offering?

It will certainly complement our existing food and beverage offerings and help us to promote the island as a dining destination worthy of the attention of 'foodie' travellers who seek a new experience. 

Hospitality has played a big role in the evolution of our island and must continue to play a role in attracting and catering for the needs of both business and leisure travellers. We are keen to see the island competing on the world's stage as both an internationally respected centre of commerce and a unique place to spend some quality leisure time. Accommodation and Dining are two pillars of the tourism industry and two of the first experiences that any visitor will have - It is our job to make sure that these formative experiences are as positive as possible. 

Rock Food Concepts is well known for great service and hospitality – how important is this to your brand, and what are the challenges you encounter with this?

We aim to make our customers happy and do all we can to ensure that they spread the word. That is the simple principle that guides all that we do. It may sound simple, but it does involve some big challenges. Long and anti-social hours do go with the territory.


The Sail Lofts opened in June 2017 comprising four rooms on a continental Bed & Breakfast basis. All rooms offer relaxing views of Douglas’ North Quay and stylish, nautical décor. For more information, or to book, go to The Sail Lofts or visit their website

If you work in the Tourism industry and would like to be featured in our Industry Insight series, please contact Laura Gill.
 

Related

The Sail Lofts
Guest Accommodation
The Sail Lofts

Sail Lofts are four stylish, well appointed guest rooms overlooking the Douglas marina, located above the acclaimed 14North restaurant

14 North
Restaurant
14 North

14North restaurant is located at the heart of the North Quay in Douglas, the Island's established dining destination. The restaurant offers delightful views over the marina, whether you are sipping a glass of wine on the terrace or enjoying a delicious dinner in the relaxed modern interior.

0 Comments

Comments

Nobody has commented on this post yet, why not send us your thoughts and be the first?